Reflections on SysAdmin Appreciation Day

Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day. Maybe you heard? If you’re reading this blog, you probably did. Statistically speaking, you’re in the minority. Most people don’t know about it. Heck, it’s not a REAL holiday, so most people can’t be blamed. There’s no special section at Hallmark, you can’t go buy clothes on sale at Macy’s, and we don’t even get a banner strung across main street in a sleepy little farm town.

In the immortal words of Anonymous:

Any father who thinks he’s all important should remind himself that this country honors fathers only one day a year while pickles get a whole week.

And Fathers Day has cards.

No, System Administrator Appreciation Day is put below many other holidays, most of which are just as made up as ours. We’re on the bottom rung of the holiday scale. Administrative Professionals Week (formerly known as Secretary’s Day, which got an upgrade of both nomenclature AND time span) is fully deserved. But more fully than System Administrator Appreciation Day? I’m probably biased, but I don’t think so.

At the same time, “System Administrator” is an odd sort of title. Technically speaking, it’s the title that I have on my business cards, but it doesn’t really describe half of what I do. I know most of you are probably the same. “System Administrator” also precludes non-system administrators who are just as valuable to the infrastructure. Many large companies’ system administrators wouldn’t have much to do without the dedicated workers on the network side. Network Admins, System Admins, security, domain, storage, and application administrators are all necessary and vital to the functioning of the entire infrastructure. But System Administrator Appreciation Day sort of leaves them out in the cold.

So here is what I propose: Let us take a page from the Secretaries’ book, and rename our holiday. Each one of those valuable people above fall under one titular umbrella: IT Administrator.

Let us celebrate “IT Administrator Appreciation Day”, and include the network admins, the storage admins, and let us have one unified front to present to the world, and to Hallmark. Maybe we’ll even get one of those cool cards with the lights and microchips.

Happy IT Administrator Appreciation Day.

I leave you with this…

Giveaways at the Meetup

Sorry for the frequent posting about the meetup, but I keep getting more information.

If you’ve been considering going but haven’t decided, hopefully this will tip you in the right direction.

There are a couple of people coming to the meetup that you may have heard of. Tom Limoncelli, for instance, who wrote Practice of System and Network Administration, The (2nd Edition) and The Complete April Fools’ Day RFCs is bringing a copy of his most excellent Time Management for System Administrators to give away as a door prize.

In addition, Brian K Jones is bringing a copy of his book, Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two as another prize.

Most excellent. Come have a beer (or beverage of your choice) with us and enjoy the evening!

As a CentOS user, I find the recent news disturbing…

If you haven’t heard, Lance Davis, administrator of the CentOS project is missing in action.

Reading that blog entry is disturbing on several levels. First, and most obvious, is that the single person responsible for the project has been missing.

Above and beyond that is the portrait painted by that blog entry is not one of a healthy open source project.

The first issue is that Lance basically is not actively involved in the project anymore. He attends meetings irregularly. If he was present and was asked certain things, he usually said that he need to look that up or he will do that later. But that never happened. And next to the meetings we do not see or hear from him at all.

That does not bode well. It gets worse, unfortunately

Lance is the only one who has access to the PayPal and Google AdSense accounts that are used on the CentOS websites. This basically means that all money that comes in through those channels went directly to him, not to the project. We again have no control over it.

I really wish that issues like this had come to light prior to his disappearance. It sounds like Lance needs to abdicate instead of abscond.

I’ll be watching this carefully. It sounds like the day to day technical operations of CentOS have not been impacted, but the long term view sounds tenuous. I have no doubt that a binary compatible version of Red Hat Enterprise will continue to be available, but it sounds like the form may not always be CentOS.